Ask people about their favorite holiday, and chances are Christmas will come out on top, maybe with Halloween as a close second. But these April Fool’s jokes for kids will give all those other holidays a run for their money.

April Fool’s Day is a day to celebrate the silly and the clever. It’s the day to prank and to be pranked. At our house, it’s the most fun day of the year. And it’s even better when adults get in on the action as well. Provided all the pranks are done with a light spirit and without permanent damage to property, April Fool’s Day can become one of your favorites, too. So, dig out your paper, scissors, markers, and plastic bugs, and let’s get started on some family-friendly April Fool’s pranks for kids…and for the rest of the family as well.

April Fool’s Jokes for Kids

These are some hilarious April Fool’s pranks for kids to play on each other, and on unsuspecting family members. Some may require adult help, but try to act surprised anyway.

Image “Spider!” by Author

Creepy Crawlies!

The Deadly Bathroom Spider

Use a marker to draw a spider on the toilet paper roll. This prank is a scream! For a variation, do multiple spiders, spider webs, cockroaches, etc.

The Old Paper Insects In The Lampshade Trick

Picture this: someone goes to turn on the lamp, then suddenly EEK! Giant cockroaches on the inside of the the lampshade! This is one of the many April Fool’s jokes for kids that are cheap and easy to do. Simply cut out some paper insect shapes — cockroaches, spiders…the creepier the better — and tape them to the inside of the lampshade. You can even find some printable insect cutouts at All About Nature.


Image CC by CC 2.0, by Matthias Hiltner, Flikr

Plastic Insects In the Salad

Put some plastic insects or spiders in the salad right before your parents serve it up at dinner. You may never have to eat your veggies again! This is one of many April Fools jokes for kids that involves fake bugs and food. You could also try poking holes in a loaf of bread and inserting gummi worms (you may have to wait a little while for this one to take effect, though).

april fools jokes for kids

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Not your Common Household Items

Food Coloring in the Shampoo, Conditioner or Dishwashing Liquid

Open a bottle of shampoo, hair conditioner or dishwashing liquid, and add *a lot* of food coloring of your choice, and give it a good shake. When someone goes to use it, they’ll get a big surprise! If you’re going to do this, however, make sure the shampoo or conditioner is not someone’s special and very expensive product — otherwise no one will be laughing, and you may have to spend your allowance paying them back.

Door Top Drop

This is one of the classic April Fool’s jokes for kids. Open a door about two inches, so that something can be balanced on top and leaned against the wall above the door, if necessary. You can also do this on top of a closed refrigerator door. When someone opens the door, the object will drop on them, giving them a big surprise. Some ideas include: a plastic cup with confetti, a rubber snake or spider, or a lightweight plastic ball. DO NOT use anything that will hurt if it falls on someone, or anything that might stain the carpet.

Tape Over the Sensor

On the bottom of a computer mouse, or the front edge of a TV remote, there is a sensor. Tape over it, and the device is unusable — at least until you let your victim in on your joke. As an alternative, you can also take out the batteries.

Wake Up!

Jump scares are among the most classic April Fool’s jokes for kids. Wake up early, and get out a bunch of your clothes. Pull back the covers of your bed. Bunch up a shirt in a rough circle, then arrange the rest of the clothes so that when you put the covers back, it will look like you are deeply asleep under the covers. Hide behind the door. When someone comes looking for you, wait until they approach the bed, then jump out and shout “April Fool’s!”

Shooting String

If your family uses ketchup or mustard bottles, it’s easy to rig them to shoot string instead of ketchup or mustard. First, empty the bottles and wash and dry them. Then, follow the instructions at this website. You’ll need red or yellow yarn, plus a washer to weight the string down.

Bottle Stopper

Some of the best April Fool’s jokes for kids involve items in the bath. For this one, use plastic wrap to seal the top of bottles of lotion, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and other items. Simply remove the cap, stretch a small amount of plastic wrap across the top, and put the top back on. When someone goes to use the item, they will be surprised when nothing comes out!

Sinktop Force Field

Want to be a little stinker? Cover the bathroom sink with plastic wrap. You and a friend (or a sibling) can also use duct tape to stretch plastic wrap across the upper part of the doorway…just above your own head level. You walk below the barrier, while anyone taller than you will walk straight into it.

April Fool’s Pranks for Parents

Why should kids have all the fun? There are plenty of April Fool’s jokes for kids, but here are a few ways for parents, and others, to take their not-so-sweet revenge…or to get one up on the kiddos when they’re not expecting it.

Featured image CC by CC 0, Hans, Pixabay

The Old Jello In the Juice Glass

Offer your kids a refreshing glass of juice…which is actually jello! For extra veracity, put a straw in the cup while the jello is setting. You can also use plain gelatin to set ordinary milk.

Image CC by S-A 2.0, Sarah Nichols, Flickr

Meatloaf Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Frosting

April Fools jokes for kids are great, but this one will delight every grown-up in the room. Imagine the delight on your little angels’ faces when you come to the dinner table with a plate full of cupcakes! Their little eyes will sparkle with delight as you tell them that tonight it’s “dessert for dinner.” Everyone takes a cupcake, peels back the wrapper, and takes a bite — only to discover the “cupcake” is meatloaf, and the “frosting” is mashed potatoes! You can find a recipe here at Cincy Shopper. Or, try a mashed potatoes and gravy sundae! You can also go the other way, with “burger” sliders that are made out of donut holes.

This Food Tastes Like Cardboard

Cut out a rough oval of cardboard the approximate size and shape of a chicken or pork cutlet. Dip it in egg, and then in breadcrumbs, then fry it up, just like you would a meat cutlet. Serve and enjoy their reactions!

Spooky Lampshades

What’s good for the goose is good for the goslings, right? Try cutting out some of these free printable spooky eyes and pasting them on the inside of your child’s lampshade or lighting fixture for a spooky surprise when they go to turn on the lights!

Clothing Swap

If you’re getting tired of April Fool’s jokes for kids, this is one only a parent will have the patience to pull off. While your kids are at school, or asleep, swap the clothing out of their drawers with the clothing of another family member.

Sewing It Up

This may take a little extra work, but it’ll be worth it for the laughs! Baste across the bottoms of your child’s trouser legs, shirt sleeves, or socks. They’ll wonder why they can’t put it on! You might want to have mercy, though, and not do it to all their clothes. But then again….

No More TV

Tired of April Fool’s jokes for kids? Here’s one you can use year round — both at home, when the kids’ shows get to be too much, or at that bar or restaurant that always has the TV on something you’d rather not watch. Buy a spare remote, or a TV Be Gone, which is a universal remote you can hide in your pocket. If you’re really ambitious, you can buy a kit and build one yourself. At random times while your kids are watching TV, switch it off and pretend you don’t know what happened. See how long it takes them to catch on, and tease them about it later.

Parking Ticket

You can prank your newly-driving teen with a customized parking ticket. Download the PDF (for $5) at this website.

Anytime Pranks for Kids

The problem with April Fool’s jokes for kids is that people may be expecting them. Here are some pranks for kids to play to keep the fun going year round! Remember: the best pranks are the ones that take your victim unawares!

Wrap the Soap in Plastic Wrap

There are quite a few pranks for kids that involve soap. Maybe that’s because it makes for an easy cleanup. It may take a moment for the grownups to figure out why they’re having trouble lathering up. When they do, though, be prepared to say “Gotcha!” Another variation on this is to coat the soap with clear nail polish.

The Incredible Shrinking Shoes

Stuff the toes of your victim’s shoes with crumpled newspaper, paper towels, kleenex, or toilet paper. When they have trouble putting their shoes on, prepare to run. But you won’t have to run too fast…because they’ll still be putting on their shoes!

Bad Faucet!

Use duct tape to cover half (or more) of the mouth of a faucet in the kitchen or bathroom. The water will spray out all over the place! Experiment to see which position gives the best spray.

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Salt and Pepper Switch

If your family uses opaque (not see-through) salt and pepper shakers, switch them around! You can also switch around other spices, like cinnamon or garlic powder. If you do more than one switcheroo, though, keep track to avoid becoming a victim of your own prank!


You will need an empty toilet paper tube and a glow stick. Use scissors to cut out a pair of creepy eyes on the tube. Put the glow stick inside. Put it somewhere your victim will see it at night! This would also be a terrific addition to your collection of April Fool’s jokes for kids.

Image CC by CC0, by artemtation, via Pixabay

Crying over Spilled Milk

Every grown-up — and a lot of kids — knows that when it comes to computers, milk is one of the most dangerous substances known to humanity. To spill milk on a computer keyboard would ruin the keyboard, and, if it’s a laptop — like your parents use for work — it would mean the end of the machine itself. For this prank, use white glue, soap, and water to create a fake milk splatter. Place the completely harmless dry splatter shape on the keyboard. Wait for the screams.

Mouse Tricks

Shhhh! It’s a not so well kept secret that a lot of times kids pick up on how technology works a lot faster than adults can. If your parents or siblings use a mouse with their computer, change the mouse settings — the tracking speed, which buttons perform which tasks — without telling them. See how long it takes them to figure it out!

April Fool’s jokes for kids can be great fun, but they don’t have to be just for April Fool’s, and they don’t have to be only for kids. Just remember: keep it fun, keep it friendly, and keep it safe.

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